'Next Justin Bieber' wins Snuggie Choice Film Awards

By T.L. Stanley on Mon Oct 25 2010

So the guy who rhymed Ask Jeeves with sleeves didn't win the Snuggie Choice Film Awards, but a Virginia kid with a suspiciously Justin Bieber-esque hairdo did. Well, I can be just as mercenary as Snuggie marketer Allstar Products Group because, as we all know, any mention of that pop idol does wonders for web hits. Christian Finnegan, a comedian from VH1's Best Week Ever, hosted the awards Thursday and dubbed 13-year-old winner Zach Benson, "the next Justin Bieber" for his video, Snuggie Rap Kidz. I'm not saying he was picked because he'll dramatically increase free PR for the event and this much-loved and much-parodied product. (Web votes determined the winner, according to the brand). But it worked out well for all involved. (Even the losers got prizes). The winner took home $5,000 and all the Snuggies he, his family and his dog could possibly ever wear. Good thing, because according to his mad rap, he likes to wear them on the street, in the club, on the john, in the tub...

Hungry Jack thinks inside the box for its latest promotion

Posted on Fri Sep 25 2009

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Hungry Jack has seen the inside of your pantry. Next to the canned goods sit partially used boxes of its pancake mix and instant mashed potatoes. So the brand is challenging consumers to “Use up the box.” The self-explanatory contest challenges consumers to find new recipes involving their left over Hungry Jack mix and anything else they have in their pantry. Through Nov. 9, they can go to Useupthebox.com to provide their suggestions. The winner gets a year’s worth of groceries. To get people thinking, the J.M. Smucker Company-owned brand, hired Food Network chef Adam Gertler to offer some concoctions. He suggested chocolate-banana cupcakes with peanut butter frosting and potato Parmesan gnocchi with brown butter and sage sauce. Inspired I went to my own pantry to see what I could come up with. My entry: Cream of Wheat flavored with wild cherry Jell-O topped with croutons, Ritz crackers and Glutino pretzels. Think I’ll win?
 
—Posted by Kenneth Hein

G.I. Joe ads attack New York beaches via the air

Posted on Mon Jul 6 2009

G.I.Joe-Promotion-at-Robert-Moses Yesterday, a black helicopter raced up to the shore of New York's Robert Moses beach. As it hovered above the water, people rose from their beach blankets and chairs and walked to the shoreline to see what was happening. Was someone being rescued from an undertow? Was it a coast guard training exercise? A rope ladder was unfurled and a man climbed down to its end. He stood there dangling some 20 feet above the water and then started waving as the helicopter slowly pushed forward. As the copter came closer, you could see that the words painted on its sides were not "police" or "coast guard"; rather it read "G.I. Joe." The dramatic event was just another promotion. Albeit a far more effective one compared to the little propeller planes sputtering by, pulling banners promoting the new McCafe coffee and some women’s hygiene product that promoted itself as the ultimate solution for unwanted hair. After the helicopter cruised off, the beach was abuzz about G.I. Joe. Well done Paramount.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

If Willy Wonka designed a hotel suite, it would look a lot like this

Posted on Tue Jan 27 2009

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A candelabra made of chocolate. Furniture made of chocolate. A chess set made of chocolate. This is all part of the Godiva Decadence Suite. And one lucky couple will get to stay there as part of the Godiva's 2009 Valentine's Day promotion. A suite at the Bryant Park Hotel in New York will be transformed into a chocolate oasis for one weekend only. The chocolate-crafted designs from renowned interior designer Jonathon Adler even include a chocolate headboard. A chocolate mint left on the pillowcase at night by the waitstaff just won't have the same effect in this place.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

Curaçao won't mind at all if you can't even pronounce its name

Posted on Fri Jan 16 2009

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Maybe it's my West Coast bias, but when a Caribbean island markets itself with the tagline "Curaçao now," I think less about the secluded beaches, championship golf and rich local cuisine, and more about the smell of napalm in the morning and moody Doors music.
  "Curaçao now" is the theme of a seasonal promotion in which visitors to the island off the Venezuelan coast receive $700 in value-added savings if they book their vacations before March 15.
  Now, I don't know crap about Curaçao (that's apparently a pic of Willemstad, the capital), but I have a sweet spot for Polynesian drinks served in tiki mugs, and therefore a working knowledge of the island's most famous export: the blue-hued goo named after it. But I wonder if the average person even knows how to pronounce the island's name—it's "cure a sow," which thus rhymes with "now."
  The current promotion must have worked before, as the press release notes that it's a returning offer. "It's baaack," the release says, which brought another disturbing film to mind.
  The horror, the horror ...

—Posted by Becky Ebenkamp

Houlihan's wants you to obsess even more about the economy

Posted on Fri Jan 16 2009

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The bad news? Your once-thriving stock portfolio is now worth less than a loan co-sign from Bernie Madoff. The good news? Free 'shrooms!
  Casual dining chain Houlihan's is launching a "Dowwie Wowwie" promotion on Feb. 9. On days when the Dow Jones industrial average finishes up, each Houlihan dining party will receive an order of Italian donuts with dipping sauce; when the Dow is down, each table gets a card to return for a free appetizer with the purchase of an entrée. Guests can also enter for a chance to win a $5,000 savings bond via e-mail sign-up slips at the 100 or so Houlihan's restaurants. The campaign runs through Feb. 27. "We were looking for a way to drive traffic with a promotion that had a compelling consumer proposition, and the economy is what's on America's conscience," vp of marketing Jen Gulvik tells us. "It's a lot easier for the fast-food segment to drive traffic with promotions because they can get hundreds through their doors and drive-thrus."
  Houlihan's will communicate Dowwie Wowwie through sticky-note ads in alt-weeklies, online advertising an NPR buy and in-store collateral.

—Posted by Becky Ebenkamp


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